A while back I was in Disneyland, the happiest place on earth, and I noticed this boy with what is the coolest cochlear implant I’ve ever seen:
That is FREAKIN SWEEEEEET. Pirates, arrrrrrrrgh, I love them! And after seeing him I actually started noticing a lot of deaf culture around Disneyland. There are sign language interpreters at the shows, and I’m sure you’ve seen the viral videos circulating that show the meet n greet characters signing to guests.
In case you haven’t, check it out. It’s the coolest.
And I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a lot about ASL and deaf culture. For instance, in researching for this post, I learned that names in ASL are kinda special and cool. It’s more than just spelling out your name– if you noticed in the above video, when Shaylee introduced herself the caption read: “Shaylee. S-H-A-Y-L-E-E.” So she did spell her name, but before that, she did a sign for the word “Shaylee.” I’m not describing it right, really, just check out these cast members, you’ll get the idea.
Very cool. I was most charmed by Minnie’s sign. Love the bow!
And of course Disney utilizes Assistive Listening Services, which I’ve read about on blogs like Lipreading Mom. I even spotted one myself on my trip to Graceland a while back!
Basically, it’s extremely convenient and cutting edge technology that’s really cool. And at Disney you can get receivers at Guest Services for a refundable fee of $25. So if you return it in working order at the end of the day, it’s free!
Some older attractions and shows use reflective captioning, which is an oldie but a goodie. While induction loops allow guests to actually hear, reflective captioning is just like it sounds – it’s just adding captions. But for things like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, it works pretty well. Most attractions and rides for younger kids who wouldn’t be able to read captions use the loops.
Disney also has some handheld captioning devices for rides that move! You can check those out for the refundable $25 fee.
Pretty spiffy. Most preshow videos can be presented with captions, and you can even request “written aids,” which are packets containing all the dialogue and narration for all the attractions. TBH that just sounds like an awesome souvenir, I don’t care who you are.
And of course, service animals are always welcome at Disney parks. In fact, I’ve met service dogs training at Disney parks! It’s a great place to train dogs to ignore every possible distraction. And also get adorable pics.
So that’s just a basic rundown of all the accessibility magic for the hard of hearing. Disney is for everyone though, and has magical accommodation for all guests, including guests with cognitive disabilities, mobility disabilities, light sensitivities, visual disabilities, and more.
Check out my previous guides to Disney Parks below!